Hurricane Irma's path of destruction in the Caribbean
More aid on way for battered islands as death toll grows
The Associated Press Posted: Sep 08, 2017 12:14 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 11, 2017 12:09 PM ET
With ports mended and weather cleared, Caribbean officials struggled to get aid to islands devastated by Hurricane Irma on Monday and tried to take full stock of the damage caused by the Category 5 storm.
More than one million people were evacuated from flood-prone areas. At least 34 people were reportedly killed across the region, including 10 in Cuba, whose northern coast was raked by the storm. Cuban state news media said most of those died in Havana, where Irma pushed seawater deep into residential neighborhoods.
The storm left a swath of catastrophic destruction on Saint Martin, where half the island is controlled by the Dutch and the other half by the French. Reports say some hotels on the coast were destroyed. The U.S. government said it was sending a flight Monday to evacuate its citizens and evacuees were warned to expect long lines and no running water at the airport.
A Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship is expected to dock on the island to help in the aftermath. A French military ship is scheduled to arrive Tuesday with materials to build temporary housing.
British Virgin Islands
Britain has sent a navy ship and troops to help people on the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands that were pummeled by the hurricane.
Global Affairs Canada says it is working at "high levels" to evacuate 95 Canadians from the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos after they were barred by local officials from boarding an Air Canada flight sent to fly them home Sunday afternoon. Air Canada said that the plane remains in place and is ready to transport travellers when the local government agrees.
Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, lashed the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on Sept. 7 before continuing its trek westward towards Cuba and Florida. Thousands of tourists and residents on the island took refuge from the storm, according to the Dominican Republic's Emergency Operations Centre.
On Barbuda, nearly every building was damaged when the hurricane's core crossed almost directly over the island early on Sept. 6. About 60 per cent of its roughly 1,400 residents were left homeless, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.
The storm passed just to the north of the island of Hispaniola, shared by Dominican Republic and Haiti, causing some damage to roofs, flooding and power outages as it approached the Haitian side, which is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and rain.
Hurricane Irma struck Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power as authorities struggled to deliver aid. The U.S. government also stepped in, with President Donald Trump approving an emergency declaration for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.